Cavities and lots of dental questions... - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-22-2005, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*sigh*

I took Margie in for her dental checkup last week and they found three cavities. In the past, she had a pretty severe enamel defect on her front four top teeth and almost a year ago, we had caps put on them to stop the erosion of her teeth. Her check-up after that was perfect so I thought the trouble was behind us... But I guess not.

My questions are... Could it be the multi-vitamin I had been giving her? It was the "Bengal Bites" from Henry's (local Health Food Store store brand) and I did have an awful hard time brushing it off her teeth after I gave them to her. I started giving them to her when I was first pg - shortly after her appt in August - which is why I wonder if that's what caused the change? I realize it could also be genetics or possibly related to her enamel defect. ??? But I'm wondering if I should look into a liquid vitamin to put in her orange juice, perhaps or... What are other options? Please keep in mind we are on an EXTREMELY tight budget and can hardly afford the Henry's vitamins I usually buy.

My other question is about sealants. I asked the dentist and she did say it was a good idea in Margie's case b/c sealants cover the chewing surface and that is where all three of her cavities are (another reason I suspect the vitamins...). I realize cavities can still form in other places, so I'm wondering your opinions on sealants if anyone knows? We'd have to pay out of pocket for them (thank God this stuff always happens at tax-return time) and if they are worth it, I won't hesitate - anything to keep her from having to be strapped down AGAIN, yk? But if there's a question I'd like to know before I commit the $100 to them.

ALSO, they want to apply fluoride which I don't really have a problem with SINCE her teeth seem to need the strengthening and since it is applied at the dentist where she won't be swallowing it (we don't use any fluoride here at home). But I'm wondering how that works with the sealants? Should I make sure they do the fluoride before any sealants? I would think if the sealants were on first, the fluoride would be pointless on those surfaces of the teeth, right?

Anyway, thanks in advance for any advice, opinions or info you might have. It's truly appreciated!
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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No the vitamins did not cause the decay. I do not advise sealants on adult teeth. I would also question the validity of placing them on pedo teeth...especially since most often decay shows up between baby teeth. Extended BF can often times result in decay. Or if this is not the case then a sippy cup with anything other than water is most often the cause of decay. The flouride treatment provided in the dental office is only used to remineralize the surface of teeth after the polishing...it has no long term effect to protect the teeth. Brush after meals with a flouride containing tooth paste. Allow flouride application after prophy. Forget spending your hard earned money on sealants on pedo teeth or any teeth for that matter.
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Old 04-06-2005, 06:06 PM
 
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Why not, Doctor Mark? I have heard a lot of good things about sealants, notably from our beloved dentist smilemomma here and from many members who have posted about their positive experiences. Also, a phrase like "extended bf can often times result in decay" would require some scientific prove and backup before one could reasonably expect the members here, who are often very well informed about the positive relation between bf and dental decay, to fall for it.

So, would you please back up your claims with some verifiable data? TIA!!!!!!


Zebra, I'd go for sealants, esp if her cavities are on the bite surfaces. If you look in the archives here, you'd find some more info. To me, it sounds like she just has what I like to call the "bum gene" for cavities, and other than trying your best to prevent and/or manage the problems, there's really not that much you can do other than provide the best care every day and being right on top of theproblems when they do occur. Dr Michael... uh... Poitier or something??? at children's hospital helped my dd when she was 2.5 or something, is he your dentist as well? a few years ago he was the only pro-bf dentist in SD
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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sealants have a lot of bisphenol A in them, the "bad" plastic that is in polycarbonate (naglene bottles, some baby bottles, etc.) It is a hormone disruptor, and it leaches out of the sealant. I personally wouldn't put it in my own mouth, let alone a little kid's.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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If extended breastfeeding causes cavities, there would be alot more kids with alot more cavities! I believe that breastfeeding may be one of several contributing factors to infant and toddler caries. I believe breastfeeding on
top of compromised teeth on top of carbohydrates and bad oral hygiene may cause cavities.
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:55 PM
 
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Just my .02-

Well, my husband had sealants on all his permenant teeth, he smokes, eats a terrible diet consisting mainly of candy, coke, pop, doughnuts, pizza, and little debbie snacks, has never flossed in his life, and brushes 1-3 times a week if I'm lucky. He went to the dentist for the first time last week (he is 27 years old) in his life and had only two tiny, barely visible cavities (I can't see them).

On the other hand, I did not have my teeth sealed, brush regularly, floss almost daily, eat lots of fresh veggies and never drink pop. I have had three teeth pulled, one root canal, and I need a TON of dental work still for large cavities. I would consider the little bit of sealer much safer than the probability of future tooth loss and extensive dental work, especially on permanent adult teeth. Even though genetics plays a role as well, I'm sure, I think the benefits outweigh the risks, especially if someone has a tendancy to get cavities.

Oh, and fillings, etc... cost much, much more $$$$$$$ than the sealers

Mom to two boys, ages 8 and 11, and one blessing due May 8th.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 baby.gif 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

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Old 04-06-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heldt123
Even though genetics plays a role as well, I'm sure, I think the benefits outweigh the risks, especially if someone has a tendancy to get cavities. Oh, and fillings, etc... cost much, much more $$$$$$$ than the sealers
I totally understand your POV on this, and being someone who has had a lot of cavities myself, I can understand the draw. Also, for a man, the Bisphenol A isn't as big of a deal, since he won't ever get pregnant... LOL. but for a child or a woman, it is a different story.

Quote:
For 30 years, dentists have used a class of plastic resins to seal teeth from decay-causing bacteria and to help repair teeth that have developed cavities.

Now, a new study reports that significant quantities of bisphenol A, a chemical building block of these resins, can leach into the saliva of treated patients.

In the body, this chemical can emulate the female sex hormone estrogen.

Exposure to estrogenlike agents-especially during fetal or early postnatal development-can trigger gender-bending changes (SN: 7/15/95, p. 44) or reproductive havoc (SN: 1/22/94, p. 56). They may also foster cancer in reproductive organs such as the breast (SN: 7/3/93, p. 10).

*******

"I would be concerned about the possibility of high levels of this chemical getting into a child. And until we learn more about its biological effects, as a parent I would therefore err on the side of caution" when it comes to using dental sealants.
the whole article is available here. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...49/ai_18193360

This is just one I found quickly. there is a lot about this out there.
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, you know what, we did take her to see that doctor at Children's years ago when we were first dealing w/ her enamel defect in her top four teeth. Actually, no, it wasn't him - it was his collegue who accepted our insurance. It was the single worst medical visit I've been on since my child was born. The moment the dentist (can't remember his name now) heard the word "breastfed" he jumped ALL OVER that. (She was 11 months old at the time, BTW) He actually told me formula is BETTER for their teeth and that LLL was a bunch of liars for saying breastmilk wasn't bad for teeth. I gave him a mouthful, let me tell you. LOL

Anyway, an update on our situation... Luckily she had her 3 year check up at her regular doctor the next week (her regular doc is actually an osteopath and just AWESOME, very supportive of her still breastfeeding at this age and very natural - for a doc anyway). He was not at all interested in her having any dental work done at the time. Instead he and I have begin treatment for yeast overgrowth which he feels is causing her caries and some other symptoms (and which I have felt for a couple years now has been an issure for her and I). So I decided to forgo the fillings at this point and try this route for now. If her cavities get worse in a few months I will absolutely treat them, of course, but for now I'd rather try this route. I did opt for the fluoride, though. I don't know what to do about sealants b/c her doc is against them as well, but... Just... Gosh being a mom is confusing.

Thanks for the advice, everyone...

bonnie
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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more about bisphenol a in sealanta, fot those interested:


NOTE: Extensive background materials on the BPA issue are available at www.EMS.org.

Edited version:
Scientists Call on EPA to Reassess Health Risk of Widespread Chemical

Controversy over the human health impacts of low doses of endocrine disrupting chemicals escalated to a new level yesterday with publication of an analysis in Environmental Health Perspectives. In a follow-up teleconference with journalists, Drs. Fred vom Saal and George Lucier called on the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a new risk assessment of the ubiquitous chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA).


The new report, co-authored by Dr. vom Saal, a neurobiologist at the University of Missouri, and Claude Hughes, a biologist at East Carolina University, evaluated 115 scientific studies of the health impacts of BPA, a chemical used in most plastic containers, food and beverage cans, dental sealants, plastic baby toys and bottles, and other consumer products.

The authors found that 94 of the studies showed harmful effects from BPA in laboratory animals. They further found that of the 21 studies finding no health effects, 11 were funded by industry.


The new study contrasts with a study completed in 2002 (but released in 2004) by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, which concluded that the "evidence for low-dose effects is very weak." [1] The Center's study was funded by the American Plastics Council.


The debate over BPA has become so intense that it has reached the California state legislature, which is considering a ban on its use in all products for children age three and under.


BPA is so widespread that it has been found in almost every American, and, for that matter, most people in developed countries around the globe. The critical health issue, said vom Saal, is that "the level in humans is consistent with the level in animal studies" that find BPA causing harm. Dr. Lucier, former director of the National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, added that "findings in rats and mice were extremely predictive" for determining health effects in humans.


Studies have found that BPA mimics the female sex hormone estrogen, and can interfere with such body processes as reproductive and brain functions. Babies and infants are especially at risk since they are irreversibly damaged by BPA. According to vom Saal, impacts can range from hyperactivity to increased aggressiveness, learning disabilities, and altered sex behavior as adults. BPA also decreases the male sex hormone testosterone. BPA, says vom Saal, is "an extremely potent sex hormone-like drug."
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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Doctor Mark,


http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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I have one with terrible issues with teeth. We chose sealants over future pulpotomies. Based on experience watching the teeth decay, it was inevitable. We use a vite that has xylitol in it and use xylitol every day, several times a day to help with the caries. We only use flouride at the dentist 1 x a year. Furthermore, we are also working at rebuilding the enamel with mineral supplementation in food and in a liquid supp. I brush teeth and floss for her. I use a non-fluoride toothpaste AND biodent. I keep the toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide that is switched out at least once a week, to help keep the bacteria at bay.

It is no fun having a child with decay. My child with the teeth issues just turned 4 and right before she was 4, there were 5 more cavities. We had them filled in the dental office, with nitrous only, saving us a ton of $ by not having to put her under. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. I know that not everyone agrees with all that we do, including the dentist, but it is working for us for now.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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Another good article re: BF'ing, tooth decay and nutrition ... right here at Mothering!
http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr.../cavities.html
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